Choquequirao is gaining a high level of importance in cultural tourism. The name comes from the Quechua word chuqui kiraw, which means “Cradle of Gold” and is located 3085 meters above sea level. It was the last place of resistance for the Incas, extends over an area of 2000 acres and is part of a series of architectural complexes in the Vilcabamba Valley.
From the Andean perspective it is an undoubtedly strategic location , allowing them to embrace this unique settlement and have dominion over what could be considered one of the most extraordinary areas in the country. The geographical position of Choquequirao results in warm weather in the day, alternating with cold temperatures at night. The average annual temperature is 16 ° C. The site has an extraordinary view of the White River watershed and the Apurimac Canyon. In the distance one can see the snow covered Salkantay mountain.
It is believed that Choquequirao was built for the Inca resistance during the Spanish occupation in the Vilcabamba Valley. This complex is composed of the archaeological sites of: Ñusta Hispanic Vitcos , Espiritu Pampa , Concebidayoc , Pampaconas and Jabaspampa. Choquequirao is located in an almost inaccessible mountain which, behind stone walls, allowed for a resistance for nearly 40 years.
Day 1: Cusco , Cachora and Chaquisqa
We pick you up from your hotel at 5:00am. Going by bus to the town of Cachora, there is a brief stop during the trip to appreciate Tarawasi Archaeological Center (an Inca ceremonial center), built with andesite stone and cut and polished in polygonal form. Continuing on, we reach the Cunyac bridge between the departments of Cusco and Apurimac, then pass through the district of Saywite Curawasi to finally reach Cachora at around 9am. From here we begin the first three hours of the trek to reach the pass of Capuliyoc (2,800 m). Here we’ll have lunch and then continue three hours to Chaquisqa village (1930 m). It is a descent where we can appreciate the beautiful landscape and warm climate. Here we will make our first camp and have dinner.
2nd day: Chiquisca , Playa Rosalina and Sunchupata
At 5:00am we eat breakfast and continue our trek towards Rosalina (1550 m) and then climb up the hill towards Santa Rosa (2100 m) where we will stop for lunch. This is the most difficult path and will take about 3 hours. The following climb to Maranpata ( 2850 m ) is easier and one can enjoy the different types of fauna. Finally, it is another three hours of hiking in the direction of Sunchupata where we will set up camp. From here it only takes an hour to get to Choquequirao.
Day 3: Sunchupata , Choquequirao and Chaquisqa
At 5am we have breakfast and get ready to head to Choquequirao to see the sun rise at the site. This gives us all morning to visit and explore all the sectors of the archaeological complex. At a predetermined hour we will return to Sunchupata and begin the descent to Santa Rosa where we have lunch. Afterwards we descend all the way back to the town of Chaquisqa where we will camp for the night.
Day 4: Chaquisiqa , Capuliyoc Cachora , hot springs and Cusco
At 6am we have breakfast and return to Cusco by the same route of the first day. The walk is much smoother to the town of Cachora, during which there is the opportunity to observe the local wildlife, breathtaking views of snowcapped peaks and the impressive canyon of the Apurimac. After lunch we return by bus to Cusco .